Deal in works to keep dairies from park honoring black settlers





VISALIA, Calif. -- Tulare County supervisors approved a permit Tuesday to build a pair of mammoth dairies next to a state historic park devoted to black settlers, but a deal was in the works to keep the farms far from the monument to a freed slave.

The plan to put more than 12,000 cows within two miles of Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park pitted Sam Etchegaray against environmentalists and park supporters who said the dairies would be an offensive neighbor, bringing stink, flies and pollution to the black utopia founded in 1908 by the former Army chaplain...

"A modern dairy is very different," said Supervisor Steve Worthley. "If I thought for one moment that the proposed projects would be injurious to the state park, I would be the first one to deny the approval."...

Despite finally gaining the permit approval Tuesday, Etchegaray is now considering selling the land or development rights to the Trust for Public Land, said his attorney, David Albers. He first sought the dairy permits eight years ago...

The proposed deal with the Trust for Public Land likely would give the land over to the state parks agency, said Roy Stearns, a spokesman for the state Department of Parks, which also has sought to create a buffer zone.

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